The Trials of Donald J Trump

I know he’s already got his own dedicated thread but with respect to what is quite literally going to be an historic day I thought I’d start a thread exclusively to discuss what unfolds over the next several weeks.

Opening arguments start in a few hours’ time and we most likely will see the first prosecution witness called today who is rumoured to be David Pecker , former publisher at the National Enquirer and one of the chief protagonists in the tale.

It has been widely reported that Trump has already struggled with the reality of having to sit silent (as well as nodding off on occasion) whilst others talk about him in non-flattering terms , and indeed has already been admonished by the judge for it , and that was only whilst having to listen to prospective jurors. How he comports once prosecutors and their witnesses set about tearing him down is one of the most tantalising prospects before us.

It’s probably no exaggeration to preview today’s proceedings as momentous in their own right but when we also consider just how significant the verdict might be in determining who wins in November , well the stakes couldn’t be higher.

The day has finally arrived when Donald J Trump could no longer evade the judicial process.


Too many US politics threads already. The guy has his own thread. There isn’t a dedicated thread for any UK politician, or any other politician that I know of.


Donald Trump trial: Who are the witnesses?

Stormy Daniels, Donald Trump and Michael Cohen are among the faces expected to take the stand in the trial

Acolourful cast of witnesses will take the stand at the Lower Manhattan courthouse during Donald Trump’s hush money trial, including the former president himself.

Here are some key figures set to testify in the case, which is expected to last six weeks:

The ex-publisher of the National Enquirer is expected to be the prosecution’s first witness on Monday.

The long-time friend of Mr Trump was the CEO of American Media, the tabloid’s parent company, until August 2020.

Prosecutors say Mr Pecker met with Mr Trump and his former lawyer Michael Cohen at Trump Tower in August 2015 to discuss using the National Enquirer to suppress negative stories about the presidential candidate.

The plan is alleged to have involved buying exclusive rights to the stories but not publishing them.

Prosecutors say the Stormy Daniels payment, which is the focus of the trial, was part of a broader “catch and kill” scheme to bury stories about Mr Trump.

Mr Pecker, 72, and American Media provided details about Mr Cohen’s payment to Ms Daniels after being subpoenaed by federal investigators in April 2018, according to prosecutors.

Mr Pecker was later granted immunity in exchange for testimony about Mr Trump’s knowledge of the payment

The adult film actress, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, claims she had a sexual encounter with Mr Trump in 2006 and was paid $130,000 by Mr Cohen for her silence ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

Mr Cohen says his former boss directed the payment. Prosecutors claim Mr Trump falsely classified reimbursements to Mr Cohen as legal expenses. The former president has pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records.

Ms Daniels, 45, claims the liaison took place in 2006, when she was 27 and Mr Trump, then the star of The Apprentice, was 60.

Mr Trump, now 77, has denied the encounter with Ms Daniels and said the payment was personal and not related to the campaign.

The star witness for the prosecution once vowed to “take a bullet” for the former president.

For a decade, Michael Cohen served as Mr Trump’s lawyer and backroom fixer, working, in his own words, to cover up his ex-boss’s “dirty deeds”.

It was Mr Cohen, 57, who facilitated, and was later jailed for, the hush money payment to Ms Daniels. But critics say a past conviction for lying to Congress undermines his credibility as a witness.

Mr Cohen paid Ms Daniels out of his own pocket through a shell company and arranged for her to sign a non-disclosure agreement, according to prosecutors.

In August 2018, Mr Cohen pleaded guilty to a campaign finance law violation for paying Ms Daniels.

He was sentenced to three years in prison for that and other crimes and served more than a year before being released.

The former Playboy model, 53, has said Mr Pecker’s American Media paid her $150,000 in 2016 for the rights to her story after claiming she had a 10-month affair with Mr Trump in the mid-2000s.

Mr Trump denies having an affair with Ms McDougal.

Mr Trump has not been charged over the alleged payment to Ms McDougal but prosecutors say her testimony will give jurors context about the “catch and kill” practice of buying up stories in order to bury them.

The public relations executive, 35, served as Trump’s press secretary during his presidential campaign.

Once considered one of Donald Trump’s closest confidantes and most trusted aides, Ms Hicks later became his White House communications director.

Prosecutors will ask her to shed light on what was happening inside the political operation of the Trump campaign in the final weeks before the 2016 election.

A search warrant released in July 2019 indicated that Ms Hicks participated in phone calls between Mr Trump and Mr Cohen where they allegedly discussed the hush money payments in 2016.

The 45th US president has said he plans to testify at his historic criminal trial.

Many legal experts suggest it is a risky strategy as it opens him up to probing cross-examination by skilled prosecutors.

Defendants are presumed innocent and are not required to take the stand.

But prosecutors must prove Mr Trump intended to break the law to secure a conviction and his testimony could be important in rebutting that assertion.

Mr Trump frequently uses courtroom appearances to rally his supporters. The Republican candidate might want to take advantage of the media spotlight on his trial for the benefit of the 2024 election campaign.


You just couldn’t make it up…

The guy who branded Biden as ‘Sleepy Joe’ fell asleep again today and had to be nudged awake by his lawyer. That makes it every day so far that he’s dozed off.


Lets face it…whoever is a witness, whatever they say…Trumpy will get away with it…

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Maybe but he wins whatever the outcome.

Hope not.

Cohen in the witness box will hopefully be interesting. We can only hope that Trump takes the stand

It’s beyond his control now , his fate rests solely with the twelve New Yorkers who comprise the jury. Legal experts seem to be divided as to the probable outcome. Some are calling it a slam dunk whilst others point to the novel and perhaps tenuous link that the DA is using to charge the crime as a felony. Michael Cohen certainly needs to put in a better performance under cross examination than the one he gave at the civil fraud trial , although he can still fall back on plenty of corroborating evidence if he falters.

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I don’t think the 12 peers good n true, will be in any doubt…but wether they cave in is another matter…

It only takes one. :grimacing:

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Having sex with stormy, and being charged with a crime because of it, double fail imo. Out of all the classic pornstars, she would be close to the bottom of the list.

Obviously trying hard to stay off the coke during the trial.
Surprised he’s expected to take the stand and probably incriminate himself, oh well …

He is on Truth social every night, right through the night… Not surprised he is nodding off during the day - What a horrible horrible situation the orange fool has brought upon himself in his twilight years… He just loves loves loves, the limelight

Not only on himself, on all of us too.

The polls have turned fairly notably in the last 6 weeks or so to look far more encouraging for Biden. One theory is that Biden’s increased visibility since the SotU has undercut one of the most common critiques of his candidacy. But the other is that people had simply forgotten how awful Trump was and now we’re in trial season people are starting to be reminded of it.


Don’t worry, there aren’t enough threads to discuss eggplants :eggplant: or man purse :handbag:.

He might not be for much longer. There is a contempt hearing scheduled for today ; “Merchan could theoretically issue an order barring Trump from using social media during the trial: That’s what a judge did during the 2019 criminal case against Trump ally Roger Stone when Stone repeatedly attacked the judge. But such an order would face a robust appeal.”

Definitely can’t bar him from using social media, can however skirt around the subject matter he can discuss with regards to the case.

Trump does and says what he wants. Even though this is the least of the four cases he is battling, it is the most advanced and here he is, inside a courtroom, having to listen to people give their evidence and not talk over them and dominate them. At that point it is a very good thing to see, as there is a hint, at least, that perhaps it is true that nobody is above the law. Because he has been, so far.

He can’t bluster and bully his way through. The judge is the boss in this situation. And if Trump oversteps his bounds, the judge can, and hopefully will, insist on better behavior.

Someone quipped that Trump is what happens when you don’t discipline a toddler until age 77. It’s tragic and hilarious at the same time, that it has come to this.

As for the outcome, let’s see. I know there is possible jail with the charges. I’d love to see that happen, but I suspect he will get the lightest end of the range, if found guilty.